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Defence & Aerospace

Brazilian agency providing remote sensing training for African countries

By: Keith Campbell     16th June 2017 Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE – National Institute for Space Research) has been providing training for Earth observation (EO) specialists from African and other countries (in Asia and Latin America), under its Capacitree programme, which is a capacity-building project... 

Expanding drone market holds big investment and job potential

By: Dylan Slater     16th June 2017 Large market value and a broad spectrum of industries, ranging from agriculture, mining, transport and logistics, to filmmaking are being disrupted by remotely piloted aircraft, otherwise known as drones, according to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

New era in large satellite propulsion marked by recent launch

By: Keith Campbell     16th June 2017 The world’s first high-power satellite employing an all-electrical propulsion system, Eutelsat 172B, has been successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana, manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space announced on June 2. The new satellite will provide broadcast, in-flight broadband, and improved... 

World’s longest-wingspan aircraft begins testing

By: Dylan Slater     16th June 2017 The title of the world’s largest aircraft by wingspan has been claimed by the newly constructed Stratolaunch Aircraft, currently under development at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California, in the US.  

World’s longest-wingspan aircraft begins testing
WORLD RECORD The Stratolaunch has a wingspan of 117 m, which is 33 m longer than the six-engined Antonov An-225 Mriya

State defence group Denel could be transferred from Public Enterprises to Defence 

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 Pre-Cabinet level discussions are under way within the government about transferring State-owned defence industrial group Denel from the aegis of the Department of Public Works to that of the Department of Defence (DoD). This was stated by Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube at a function marking the... 

State defence group Denel could be transferred from Public Enterprises to Defence
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Secretary of Defence Sam Gulube

Boeing unveils plans to lower costs of launching small satellites

By: Dylan Slater     9th June 2017 US aerospace company Boeing and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) announced last month that they would collaborate on a project to design, build and test a technology demonstration vehicle capable of launching small payloads into low earth orbit as part of Darpa’s... 

Boeing unveils plans to lower costs of launching small satellites
REUSABILITY Being able to reuse launch vehicles will reduce the cost of orbiting small satellites

Civil air cargo version of the Super Hercules transport makes first flight

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 The civilian version of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules military airlift aircraft, the LM-100J, made its maiden flight on May 25, the company announced on the same day. This first flight was from the company’s plant at Marietta in the US State of Georgia, and during it the aircraft... 

Denel purchase of aero engine company approved with conditions

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on late last month.  

Local commercial and general aviation sector under policy pressures

By: Keith Campbell     2nd June 2017 The commercial and general aviation (GA) sector in South Africa is currently facing significant challenges that really need to be addressed if it is to remain healthy over the coming years. So cautions the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (Caasa).  

Local commercial and general aviation sector under policy pressures

Boeing business internship 2018 programme application period to open next week

By: Keith Campbell     1st June 2017 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing on Thursday announced that the application period for its International Business Internship Programme (IBIP), which is now open to South African students, will start on June 6 and close on July 15. This registration period for internships that will run... 

Boeing business internship 2018 programme application period to open next week
Photo by Bloomberg
Boeing logo

South Africa’s latest nanosatellite now in orbit

By: Keith Campbell     31st May 2017 The Department of Science and Technology (DST) announced on Wednesday that South African nanosatellite nSight1 had been successfully launched from the International Space Station last week, on May 24. nSight1 was designed and built by SCS Space, part of the local SCS Aerospace Group, and is the... 

South Africa’s latest nanosatellite now in orbit
Photo by SCS Space
The nSight1 nanosatellite, before it was sent into space

Finance Minister Gigaba continues to oppose Denel Asia deal

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 The National Treasury on Friday reaffirmed, in a press release, that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba continues to oppose the proposed joint venture between the State-owned Denel defence industrial group and VR Laser Asia, intended to create a company called Denel Asia. The press release was issued... 

South Africa’s space agency develops system to monitor crops

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 The Earth Observation (EO) Directorate of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has developed an advanced crop-monitoring system for South Africa that will also be made available to other African countries, in due course. “We are able to monitor their [the crops’] condition through... 

Local company invests in space worthiness of new generation of space imagers

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 South African private-sector space company SCS Space is looking forward to establishing the spaceworthiness credentials of its Gecko imager, which is mounted on South Africa’s nSight-1 nanosatellite and which was scheduled to have been launched from the International Space Station on May 23.... 

Competition Commission approves Denel buy of local aero-engine company

By: Keith Campbell     25th May 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on Thursday.  

Denel contradicts Gigaba’s reported stance on VR Laser Asia

By: African News Agency      24th May 2017 Denel on Wednesday contradicted reports that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba had ordered the State-owned arms manufacturer to dissolve its controversial joint venture with VR Laser Asia, a company linked to the Gupta business empire, and withdraw its litigation against National Treasury for... 

Denel set on expanding business in Asia-Pacific region

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd May 2017 State-owned Denel on Tuesday said it was dead set on expanding its business in the Asia-Pacific markets, despite an affidavit, lodged by former Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile, stating that its joint venture (JV) partner is a technically insolvent company. The aerospace and defence... 

Denel, Defence Minister to talk about industry strategy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th May 2017 Defence and aerospace company Denel will on Friday discuss the Defence Industry Strategy document, designed to provide guidelines for productive government–industry cooperation and partnership, with Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the National Defence Industry... 

China’s first home-grown commercial jetliner makes maiden flight

By: Keith Campbell     19th May 2017 In what could be the most significant development in global commercial aviation since the prototype of the first Airbus airliner (the A300) made its maiden flight in late 1972, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s (Comac’s) C919 single-aisle airliner made its first flight, from Shanghai... 

Eskom Academy trains over 500 contractors

     19th May 2017 Over the last three years, State-owned power utility Eskom’s enterprise development programme, the Contractor Academy, trained 518 contractors from all nine provinces, with the youth accounting for about 60% of participants. The programme started as a pilot programme in 2008 and has since grown... 

Eskom Academy trains over  500 contractors
Photo by Duane Daws
ESKOM CONTRACTOR ACADEMY The academy trained 518 contractors from all nine provinces

Five mobile transformers delivered to Mkondeni unit

     19th May 2017 Five mobile transformers were delivered to State-owned power utility Eskom’s Mkondeni unit in KwaZulu-Natal in March.  The plan to purchase the five 132/88-22/11KV mobile transformers started in 2011 and was followed by a rigorous procurement process. Industrial corporation Siemens was awarded... 

Five mobile transformers delivered to Mkondeni unit
ALTERNATIVE POWER Five mobile transformers delivered to Eskom’s Mkondeni unit can be used to replace existing equipment during scheduled maintenance

Denel says it continues talks with National Treasury over Denel Asia JV

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th May 2017 State-owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate Denel on Tuesday said it was in ongoing talks with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown regarding its multibillion-rand joint venture (JV) deal with VR Laser Asia, which led to the creation of Denel... 

South Africa's space agency advances new satellite and use of imagery 

By: Keith Campbell     8th May 2017 Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor reported on Monday that the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has made significant progress in developing the country's next Earth observation (EO) satellite. She was giving the keynote address at the opening of the 37th International... 

China’s first domestically-designed commercial airliner makes its maiden flight

By: Keith Campbell     5th May 2017 In what could be the most significant development in global commercial aviation since the prototype of the first Airbus airliner (the A300) made its maiden flight in late 1972, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s (Comac’s) C919 single-aisle airliner made its first flight, from Shanghai... 

China’s first domestically-designed commercial airliner makes its maiden flight
Photo by Comac
The first Comac C919 airliner

Aspiring South African space cadet receives US space exposure

By: Dylan Slater     28th April 2017 Engineering services and aerospace systems company Honeywell recently hosted Eastern Cape resident Matthew Arnolds at its yearly aerospace training initiative, the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy.  

Aspiring South African space cadet receives US space exposure
MATTHEW ARNOLDS The space cadet recently completed training and space simulations overseas at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy

SpaceX’s reusable rocket completes second return journey

By: Dylan Slater     28th April 2017 Private rocket company SpaceX has successfully reused one of its Falcon 9 rockets to launch a commercial communications satellite – SES-10 – for communications satellite operator SES.  

SpaceX’s reusable rocket completes second return journey
UNPRECEDENTED LAUNCH A used Falcon 9 rocket launches from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre, in Florida

Boeing launches concepts for deep space portals and transport systems

By: Dylan Slater     21st April 2017 US aerospace company Boeing unveiled concepts earlier in April for the deep-space gateway and transport systems that could help achieve US space agency the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) goal of having robust human space exploration from the moon to Mars.  

Boeing launches concepts for deep  space portals and transport systems
DEEP SPACE GATEWAY The Deep Space Gateway has the potential to be an early waypoint to future journeys to Mars

Brazilian company unveils over-the-horizon radar

By: Keith Campbell     21st April 2017 Brazilian technology company IACIT Soluções Tecnológicas S/A (IACIT), which develops and produces air traffic control and management and maritime traffic control and management systems, weather radars, telemetry systems, and integrated networks (among other products and systems) for civil, public... 

Innovative projects making strides in laser industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th April 2017 The Laser Research Institute (LRI), part of the Physics Department at Stellenbosch University, has achieved notable research outputs during the past three years, which has resulted in several innovative projects such as ultrafast laser spectroscopy, as well as infrared spectroscopy and laser... 

Innovative projects making strides in laser industry
SIZEABLE DEVELOPMENT A robust miniature carbon dioxide laser test system for commercialisation and a large, high-pressure carbon dioxide laser to provide infrared light with Terawatt peak power are being developed

New versions of major airliner designs make first flights on same day

By: Keith Campbell     14th April 2017 March 31 was a red-letter day in commercial aviation when two new versions of major airliners made their first flights. They were – in alphabetical order – the Airbus A319neo and the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. The two flights took place from Hamburg, Germany and at North Charleston in South... 

R&D capitalises on global growth

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th April 2017 The National Laser Centre (NLC), part of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is undertaking a Photonics Prototyping Facility (PPF) programme and is exploring advance manufacturing technologies, leveraging on the strong global growth of the laser technology sector. NLC PPF... 

R&D capitalises on global growth
Photo by Bloomberg
ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING Laser-based three-dimensional technology is mostly focused on industrial application, and presents a specific area for significant growth in the future

South African nanosatellites to be launched soon as part of international project 

By: Keith Campbell     11th April 2017 Two South African-designed and built nanosatellites, designated nSight1 and ZA-Aerosat, are set to be launched into space next week, as part of a consignment of 28 nanosatellites from 23 countries. The entire shipment of nanosatellites will, according to current plans, be lifted into space by a... 

South African nanosatellites to be launched soon as part of international project
Photo by SCS Aerospace Group
SCS Space’s nSight1 nanosatellite

South Africa signs memorandum of understanding on defence with Pakistan

By: African News Agency      28th March 2017 South African Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Federal Minister for Defence of Pakistan Khawaja Muhammad Asif, her department said on Monday. The MoU on “Defence and Defence Industrial Cooperation” establishes a Joint... 

Stellenbosch University and CubeSpace to launch nanosatellite

By: News24Wire      27th March 2017 Stellenbosch University and CubeSpace are expected to launch a nanosatellite to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday. The nanosatellite will be launched from the US on Monday, or Tuesday. 

Denel signs dockyard agreement with German shipbuilding group

By: Keith Campbell     24th March 2017 South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). This agreement will allow Denel’s Maritime Division to take responsibility for the maintenance of, and upgrades to, the South... 

Drone piloting course launched following increased demand

By: Dylan Slater     24th March 2017 With interest in remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASes), or drones, increasing, seemingly unhindered by their high costs, Cape Town-based RPAS sport organisation Drone Racing Africa (DRA) has introduced a basic drone flying course.  

Drone piloting course launched following increased demand
Photo by Dylan Slater
UNCERTAIN TERRITORY Getting to grips with drone piloting is more challenging than many newcomers may think

Longer-ranged artillery shell unveiled by South African defence company

By: Keith Campbell     24th March 2017 South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has reported that it has successfully qualified its 155 mm calibre M2005 Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP). This is a longer-ranged enhancement of the company’s Assegai series of 155 mm artillery rounds. The qualification... 

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